Posts tagged video gaming

The Religious Reviewer

Earlier today I linked to this review of indie rogue-like The Binding of Isaac on Twitter and commented that it was “interesting” because a Christian Pastor had written it, and awarded the game 9/10 - “phenomenal”.

I wanted to qualify that but couldn’t do it in in under 140 characters (or words, likely) and also, you know, I had actual work to do.


I noticed that closing remark about the writer being a Christian pastor, and I wondered what relevancy that had to the review.

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1UP: That was one of the things I was most curious about, because it is a 10-year-old game.
FO: Yeah.
1UP: So it’s got 10-year-old level design.
FO: It does.
1UP: How are you trying to convince people it’s worth playing again?
FO: We don’t have to. One of the weirdest things we noticed immediately was it hasn’t aged a day. It’s still a very, very modern shooter.

Interview: The Past and Future of Halo

Could that be because - wait for it wait for it - the genre boundaries of FPS makes it nearly impossible to innovate with any success, so shooters have remained static for a decade?


On difficulty and challenge

I’m really struggling with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I find it extremely difficult. I’m quite good at stealth games and I do okay with shooters, so I’m not sure what the problem is. I just haven’t clicked with it. I’m not enjoying it because I can’t go five minutes without being discovered and killed.

A lot of people are saying it’s actually really easy, and that they’ve turned the difficulty right up (except during boss fights). Interestingly, there’s a significant overlap between friends of mine who find Human Revolution easy, and friends of mine who tried Demon’s Souls and gave up after an hour in disgust, saying it was cheap.

I guess we enjoy different sorts of challenges.

As a game, it was terrible, employing some of the worst designs choices of the genre, especially puzzles that if left unsolved (or not solved in time, as the game ran on its own clock) would in effect “kill” your game, blocking your progress and forcing a restart.

When Disgustingly Sexual Art & Adventure Games Came Together

That still sounds like a really cool feature to me. The “walk down corridor, push X to win” gameplay paradigm isn’t the only valid one.

For Ogre and the others on the front lines at game maker Ion Storm, this means another bloodshot night of testing what they promise will be among the most beautiful and sophisticated shooters ever made: Daikatana.

How do game developers hack it? - Gaming -

Note: Crunch time doesn’t work. Crunch time produces shitty games despite all expectations.

Thanks, @NiteShok.

While Dead Space went off to be an astronaut and Resident Evil 5 joined the young Conservatives club, the third child deliberately dropped out of college, caned lots of drugs and started a band. He took the wild, demented streak his father sometimes displayed and rode off with it on a motorcycle, flipping a tattooed bird at his more straight-laced brothers. ‘Fuck you, you squares!’ he shouted.

I strongly agree that the games industry can and should do more, at a very basic level beyond recruiting, to promote gender equality in the workplace - as a first step on the road to, or concurrent with a push for, true diversity, which goes beyond men and women.

But I mislike the suggestion that the culture Hocking identifies in his piece as negative is solely the province of men. It suggests that men can’t be better than that; it suggests women are intrinsically better.

I don’t think this is what Hocking meant to imply; phrases like “better-balanced” suggest he simply wants to end one group’s dominance, rather than promoting the idea that there are two distinct cultures with different levels of value.

But there is a dangerous inference for the casual reader that men and women are fundamentally different, and that women are better.

In my report on this piece, I am guilty of editorialising. I tried to preserve the positive message I found in Hocking’s piece - that diversity and equality are things worth pushing for if we want better games - while glossing over the foregrounding of women’s role in this revolution. By doing this I’ve no doubt done us out of a number of page impressions from the flame war that would have resulted in the comments thread.

I feel bad about highlighting my own interpretation in my article, and silly for feeling bad, and I wonder if I’ll be accused of anti-feminism for not putting my own gender on a pedestal and vilifying another when I had a perfectly justifiable chance.

I’d really appreciate feedback and a discussion on this.